Author Topic: Gone Whalin' by Conor Lastowka  (Read 9967 times)

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Offline MrTorso

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Re: Gone Whalin' by Conor Lastowka
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2013, 02:28:38 PM »

The best part is, most people will read it on Kindle and never even encounter these things you labored over  :)

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Offline Sugar Ray Dodge

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Re: Gone Whalin' by Conor Lastowka
« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2013, 02:37:11 PM »
That's cool. I wish more people would realize how important design is to their books. So many people can't be bothered to care what the OUTSIDE of their books look like, let alone the INTERIOR. But this book is very well designed, it means that you give a damn.

Yeah, the book interior was the trickiest, most terrifying part. I have no visual eye whatsoever, so figuring out not only how InDesign works, but what would look good in InDesign, took quite some time. Fortunately, there's a lot of resources that recommend stuff like fonts, and things like margins are laid out on the createspace forums. I found a font that I thought looked good and ran with it. Still had to adjust the margins in the whole thing once I realized it would be over 600 pages.

I have never liked InDesign. I find it needlessly complicated, and for what I do in my style, I actually prefer working in Photoshop and Illustrator. There's not a lot InDesign can do for me that those two programs can't do easier and more effectively. I also think that if you know your way around MS Word and are willing to be somewhat minimalist with your block (text,) you can do it all in Word and still have it look professional. I know a lot of other people think InDesign is the best program you could possibly use, and I respect that, but for some reason I've never been able to discern its benefits.


Offline Conor

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Re: Gone Whalin' by Conor Lastowka
« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2013, 03:20:12 PM »
I just used it because that's how we arbitrarily laid out the Wikipedia books.

And there's nothing wrong with Kindle MrTorso! That's how I've read every book for the past three years. I just wanted to have a good looking paperback as a matter of pride, even thought I wouldn't have wanted to carry the thing around with me either.


Offline Sugar Ray Dodge

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Re: Gone Whalin' by Conor Lastowka
« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2013, 06:49:12 PM »
I just used it because that's how we arbitrarily laid out the Wikipedia books.

That's totally understandable. I know not everybody does things the way I would do them, and it totally works in your case. It's the little things, though, that people don't think are important that bug me. Like using "justify left" instead of "justify all" makes the book like a sideways, unfinished Tetris puzzle. Or something as simple as using a sans serif font, which is a huge strain on the eyeballs. Consistent titling from chapter to chapter is a big one too. You'd think people would care about this stuff, but a lot of them don't. It's like they can't be bothered to care how their own work looks, which doesn't do it any favors. So, again, the fact that you took the time to do all this stuff, ESPECIALLY with a book this size, some 200k words, shows that you DO care.


Offline Sugar Ray Dodge

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Re: Gone Whalin' by Conor Lastowka
« Reply #19 on: November 16, 2013, 09:26:19 AM »
Oh man, I stayed up WAY TOO LATE last night. I started reading the book in earnest at about 7:20, only intending to read a few chapters. At 4 AM I finally ran out of gas. Every time I thought "Okay, this is a good spot to call it a night and come back to it tomorrow," something TOTALLY CRAZY happens and I'm all "WHAT?! ARE YOU SERIOUS?!" and I was compelled to press forward to see where it all was going. For my money, the reveal on page 154 is the defining WTF moment of the entire book. There are plenty more after it, but I can say with absolute certainty that that is where the book comes into its own and goes in a direction that I totally did not see coming. It's insanity in the best possible sense of the word. This really is one of the most unique books I've ever read. I'm 2/3rds done and I'll probably finish it off sometime in the next few hours because I'm all "I HAVE to know how all this resolves itself."


Offline Sugar Ray Dodge

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Re: Gone Whalin' by Conor Lastowka
« Reply #20 on: November 16, 2013, 02:27:13 PM »
I have finished the book, and like with a lot of books I read that I really, REALLY like, all I want to do is talk about it. Here are the problems, though. (With talking about it, that is.)

1) You can really only talk about it with people who have read it, and not very many people have read it yet. I really hope that changes soon. I could blab on and on about a very specific moment in the book where everything about it totally changed for me, and not in a bad way. Everything I wrote in my review last week still stands. I was confident enough after two "days" (chapters) on the Kindle to be able to say what I said about it, because it was mostly about how funny the book was and I couldn't fathom that changing. But I waited for the paperback to arrive so actually read the whole thing in earnest. But NOW all I want to talk about is how creatively brilliant it is. Conor does something in this book that I think if a lesser author tried to do, it would destroy the credibility of the book. And when I read it and realized this was the direction the story was going, it took me a few minutes to process what the hell had just happened, and the inescapable conclusion was that this was utter brilliance. Doing something like this EXTREMELY risky, but the execution of it and what comes after it is almost flawless, and it was then I realized that I wasn't going to sleep for a while. All of this is to say that I don't want to spoil this brilliant piece of whiplash fiction for others by talking about it in detail, but until more people read it it's going to be somewhat frustrating that there are very few people to actually talk about it with.

2) I don't want to become overbearing or sound like some weird stalker who is obsessed with it. Basically, I don't want to become a real life version of Brock from the story (when you read the story, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.) I've been talking about it on Twitter and here quite a bit lately, and I don't really want to be so overbearing with my praise of it that I become an annoyance. I basically don't want people to say "Okay, we get it, you like it! Now STFU!" That doesn't do anybody any favors, especially me. I don't want my enthusiasm to take away from the experience others will have with the book.

So, in the end, I guess what I'm saying is READ THE DAMN BOOK, GUYS! I'm all alone over here, dammit! It's a great story that deserves to be discussed. :)


Offline Conor

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Re: Gone Whalin' by Conor Lastowka
« Reply #21 on: November 17, 2013, 10:16:22 AM »
Nice! Really glad it got this kind of reaction! How can the rest of you read this and not want to check it out? :)

Not coming off as Brock-ish at all, though I appreciate the reference. What's funny is that i originally had the plot development you're talking about on the back cover. I figured it was such a prominent part of the book that it might hook people. My wife talked me out of it though, saying I should keep it a surprise. It definitely changes the way people would perceive the book, I think, but I do think it's best to come as a surprise.

Again, really glad you liked it, and hope some more people read it so we can talk about it.

Buckler, er I mean, Lastowka out!


Offline Sugar Ray Dodge

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Re: Gone Whalin' by Conor Lastowka
« Reply #22 on: November 17, 2013, 02:55:05 PM »
Yeah, it was definitely the right move to make it a surprise. And don't worry, everybody, there is NO WAY you could possibly guess, predict or otherwise intuit what this plot point might be. Trust me, you'll be just as shocked as I was and it'll take you a minute or two to wrap your brain around it. I think if I knew it going on that it wouldn't have been as memorable an experience.

And not for nothing, but every time G-Dimes showed up I had to actively push the images of the sex scenes from The Room out of my head. Little deep cut there, I know, but I kept hearing Disembaudio and his friends talking in the background when G-Dimes was around.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2013, 10:36:27 PM by Sugar Ray Dodge »


Offline Conor

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Re: Gone Whalin' by Conor Lastowka
« Reply #23 on: November 17, 2013, 05:51:32 PM »
Ha! I completely forgot about that, I had to look up the script. Guess I thought the name had some promise a while ago. It was actually a friend named Gavin's nickname back in college.


Offline Sugar Ray Dodge

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Re: Gone Whalin' by Conor Lastowka
« Reply #24 on: November 19, 2013, 03:51:53 PM »
I'll say this much with a spoiler warning,

Spoiler (click to show/hide)


Offline Sugar Ray Dodge

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Re: Gone Whalin' by Conor Lastowka
« Reply #25 on: November 20, 2013, 11:24:34 AM »
Threw this together before work this morning.



Offline Johnny Unusual

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Re: Gone Whalin' by Conor Lastowka
« Reply #26 on: November 21, 2013, 01:27:54 AM »
Make that into a banner for whenever the banner thing is fixed (it's been mentioned).


Offline Darth Geek

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Re: Gone Whalin' by Conor Lastowka
« Reply #27 on: November 21, 2013, 08:25:04 AM »
So will the sequel take place on the Moon?



Offline Blasarius Yonder

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Re: Gone Whalin' by Conor Lastowka
« Reply #28 on: November 26, 2013, 01:04:59 PM »
Just started it.  I'm already surprised by how well-written it is.  I expected it to be outrageous and hilarious, but I'm really happy to see how readable it is too.
Hopefully I can squeeze in some reading time over the holidays.


Offline Conor

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Re: Gone Whalin' by Conor Lastowka
« Reply #29 on: November 26, 2013, 02:18:50 PM »
Awesome! Glad you are liking it Blasarius! Hope you can find some time amidst the gorging and walmart clerk trampling this weekend.